[Ansteorra-archery] Boyerthon '05 Materials Part 4: Nocks for your string

Sylvrfalcn@aol.com Sylvrfalcn at aol.com
Fri Apr 8 18:02:34 PDT 2005

Friends and fellow archers,
  If you were wondering in the last section (tillering), how exactly the 
tillering string stays on the bow, well, the obvious answer is nocks. Cutting 
nocks in a bow is a pretty straightforward proposition. First, you need to decide 
if you'll be using a bow stringer for the finished bow. Bow stringers need 
something to hook onto, so you'd need to leave the nock ends longer. Once you 
figure out how much wood you want protruding past the bow string loops, the rest 
is easy;
- Mark both sides of the bow at the spot you've picked, just a small tick 
mark with a pencil right at the edge where the back (front) of the bow meets the 
side. Do that on both sides (sides, not the back or the belly)
- Now use your pencil and a straight edge to draw a line slanting down from 
your tick mark until it reaches the belly of the bow. This line should be at a 
45 degree angle. Don't have a protractor handy? A perfectly square piece of 
cardboard cut in half diagonally forms a 45 degree angle. The angle is necessary 
so your nocks will be better in line with your string when the bow is strung.
- Stand the bow up and look at the lines you've drawn. Even on both sides? 
Uneven nock grooves will put more stress on one side of the limb than the other, 
and could even cause the overstressed wood to split out. If you've never done 
this, it might even be helpful to study the nocks of whatever bows you have 
lying about, so you have a better idea of what "right" looks like.
- Now you need two tools, a knife, and a chainsaw file (slender, untapered, 
round file, available at most hardware stores). Use the knife to "notch in" the 
lines you've drawn, not too deep, just enough for the chainsaw file to have a 
groove to follow. The chainsaw file will cut in a nice, smooth, rounded, 
groove for the bowstring.
- Don't go overboard and cut your nock grooves unnecessarily deep. Look at 
the nocks on other bows for an idea of how deep, and use an old bowstring to 
check fit.
- Looking good? Nice. Now turn it around and do the other end, second verse 
same as the first ;-)

Robert of Yorkshire

More information about the Ansteorra-archery mailing list